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Volume 9, Issue 1

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T R O T T ’ S C O R N E R
Michael Trott

Why Make Such a Website Here at Wolfram Research?

There are a variety of reasons why it was quite natural to start the project of compiling all the known properties of mathematical functions here at Wolfram Research.

  • Mathematica has implemented more special functions than any other software available. This means a large body of knowledge and experience about many special functions already existed here at Wolfram Research.
  • The fact that Mathematica notebooks are computer-readable documents allowed for a uniquely suitable environment to collect and verify mathematical data and to transform the resulting collections to a variety of formats, such as web pages and PDF files.
  • Since the mid-1990s various efforts to collect identities about special functions have been undertaken. So, for the International Congress of Mathematicians in Berlin, we made prototypes of a large five-panel poster about special functions with more than 2000 formulas and 300 graphics. Unfortunately, with current printing technology, producing the set is prohibitively expensive. But with the advance of SVG and other even more advanced web graphic formats, we will add similar charts describing the hierarchies of various families of mathematical functions to our website.
  • With my officemate’s website (mathworld.wolfram.com), we have a good deal of experience on how to create, update, and present large amounts of mathematical information on the web.


     
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